I'm lucky to have married someone who loves cycling too. We go riding together and she uses my position in the industry to get sweet, sweet discounts on new and used bike gear. So did my wife only marry me for all the cycling gear? Does she actually love her bikes more than me? Maybe…
I’m not really interested in knowing the truth. I just need to keep her around (because I can’t live without her). With Valentine's Day looming, I’m going to let you in on my secret relationship techniques. This is how you can use the power of cycling to keep your bike-obsessed partner or spouse in love.
Put an Upgrade On It
Are diamonds still a girl’s best friend? Hell no. It’s not 1950 anymore. Girls, boys, non-binaries, it doesn't matter. These days cyclists only want one thing: CARBON FIBER.
Years ago, before we were married, I asked my wife if she wanted to go out for our usual Sunday ride. She hesitated, and said that maybe we should ride separately. I was crestfallen. She didn’t want to go riding with me? What happened? We had been so happy cycling two abreast up until now.
When I demanded an explanation, she said that my bike was just so much better than hers. It seemed to float up difficult climbs while she got dropped on her entry-level aluminum steed. She was thinking about riding separately because she wasn’t sure I was serious about staying with her through tough climbs.
I got down on one knee and said, "Will you PR with me?"
This was the moment I knew I had to commit. To show her I was serious, I put a ring on it. Two rings, actually. I got her bike a pair of nice carbon hoops: the Zipp 303 S.
Her aluminum bike came alive, and so did our relationship. We’ve been dancing up climbs together ever since.
The only problem is now she’s noticing that my co-workers are buying their spouses super blingy wheels — Zipp NSW or ENVE SES wheels. “How come you don’t buy me wheels that nice!?” She says. Sigh. I had been eyeing a set of Princeton CarbonWorks wheels but I guess I have to get her a set first.
Plan Beautiful Routes
"Wow! That rock looks just like Chris Hemsworth. I love this route!"
During every Marvel movie, my wife inevitably blurts out “Chris Hemsworth is so handsome!” She assures me that I’m good-looking enough, but I know deep down she just wishes I looked like Chris Hemsworth. Sure, I’m not a feast for the eyes, but there’s no reason our rides can’t be.
My wife really appreciates it when I plan out fun and epic rides for us to do together that provide amazing views and new challenges. This brings us closer together as a riding couple.
Sometimes, something catastrophic happens, like that time I “accidentally” crashed and nearly fell off a cliff. My wife realized she was about to lose her only route creator. She held me close for days after.
You see, my wife relies on me for creating routes because I pay for Strava Premium and she doesn’t, so I’m the only one able to create new routes using Strava’s “Create a route” perk. If you feel like your relationship lacks direction, an online route planner like this might be the solution.
Suck it, Slowsworth.
You could use Ride with GPS’s free route creator, but I prefer Strava Premium because it gives access to Strava’s leaderboards, which I use to prove to my wife that I’m actually faster than that CGI-muscled slowpoke Chris Hemsworth.
Become the Ultimate Domestique
Me carrying bottles for my wife. Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP
There is no bond more powerful than a team leader and their domestique. If you’re unfamiliar, domestiques are the true heroes of the peloton. During races, they sacrifice their results to help their leader achieve success. This means carrying food and bottles, allowing the leader to draft and save energy, and shepherding them safely to the finish.
In our relationship and on our rides together, my wife is the obvious team leader. She is the Cavendish to my Mørkøv. I carry extra gels in my pockets to keep her energy stores topped up. I sit on the front and take the wind. When the finish line is in sight, I lead her out and launch her so she’s always ahead of me in our finish photos. I’m just so selfless and un-narcissistic, no husband/domestique is as amazing as me!
My wife and I are more in love than Cav and Mørkøv after equaling the TdF stage win record. Photo: Stephane Mahe
If she ever goes riding alone (or, God forbid, with Chris Hemsworth), she’ll just be reminded of how much better riding is when I'm there to support her. This, my friends, is the secret — make yourself indispensable.
Seriously though, supporting your spouse or partner in their goals is an incredibly powerful thing. It doesn’t even have to involve riding.
Be there for them. Encourage them. Help them work toward their goals. My wife and I do this for each other constantly. She is my support crew at all my biggest races. She carves out time to watch our son so I can train. I do the same for her. I take kid duty, cook meals, cheer her on, and occasionally, I act as her domestique too. Mutual support, whatever form that takes, is what keeps our relationship strong.
Get Them Flowers… I Guess
Okay, my wife still loves flowers, so I’m getting her a bouquet of roses this Valentine’s Day. But here’s the trick — they’re not getting delivered in a boring old vase. Instead, I will be placing them in the most expensive cycling water bottle known to man: the Camelbak Podium Titanium 1.0.
These dumb roses may wither and die, but this double-walled titanium bottle will live on forever, much like our love.
Impress your love interest with the greatest gift of all:
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